Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! I hope everyone is either heading to see family or getting ready for family to arrive. I wish I could get creative with today’s post and theme it around giving things or the holiday itself, but I’m not that good, but we can be thankful for all of these new or upcoming things (or updates from previous info).
Walt Disney World:
- New information is available for Rivers of Light – the evening experience at Animal Kingdom which incorporates light, water, and a spectacular show. The expected opening date is sometime in spring of 2016. This definitely makes me excited about spending a full day in Animal Kingdom (it’s not a park we often spend a full day in)
- Update to FastPass tiers – Flights of Wonder added to FastPass availability option in Animal Kingdom; Mission Space added to the tier 1 attraction list during the closure of Soarin’ beginning in January
- Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival is extended to 90 days in 2016. Official dates: March 2 – May 30, 2016. It’s one of my favorite experiences in Epcot – with the outdoor kitchens expanding every year, it’s a must do attraction!
- Two of Disney’s Child Activity Centers have some upgrades making them similar to Disney Cruise Line’s experience with more immersive kids activities and CHARACTERS! These two locations are the Sandcastle Club in Beach Club and Lilo’s Playhouse at Polynesian Village. With this update, there is a change in cost. It is now a flat fee of $55 per child instead of the previous hourly charge but it does allow adults to have a full “date night”.
- Innoventions in Epcot finally reopened to the public with Colortopia – a unique interactive area for kids. It’s not a “must do”, but it’s a great kids diversion or a place to get out of the heat or the rain!
- Epcot’s Captain EO will be closing in early December and being replaced with Pixar Shorts (no word if it a FastPass will be available or necessary)
- Star Wars experiences including new character meet and greets and updated Jedi Training will open on December 1st!
- Seasons of the Force is in full swing as of November 16th and let me tell you IT IS AWESOME! It will be well worth the wait at Walt Disney World.
- Hyperspace Mountain (the Star Wars overlay of Space Mountain) is absolutely fantastic. Worth a 60 minute wait time (try to grab a FastPass if you can).
- Special Character Meet and Greets – Dark Side, Light Side with Darth Vader & Chewbacca
- Star Wars: Path of the Jedi captures your favorite Star Wars moments (if you’ve seen photos of some of the Star Wars memorabilia, this is likely where it is!)
- If you’re considering a trip to Disneyland, add an extra 1/2 day (at least) for just the Star Wars experiences. You can spend a LONG time looking at all of the fantastic details!
That’s it for this week. Hope the turkeys and the wine are at the ready!
First, a big thank you to all of those who served our country to veteran’s day! This edition of What’s new Wednesday around Disney destinations. Some of these are updates on experiences that are now open or have more info based on previous announcements!
Walt Disney World
- A Star Wars presence will increase in Hollywood Studios as of December 1st! For full details, check a full post from earlier this week: HERE
- Star Wars weekends were officially cancelled for the immediate future. The marketing gurus of WDW came up with “you can have Star Wars every day with the upcoming expansions”
- Two new dining experiences opened up this week – the expansion of Garden Grill for breakfast and lunch and Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine. Both are getting rave guest reviews. At Minnie’s Holiday Dine, guests are greeted by Santa Goofy (a line that is ALWAYS long for meet and greet). A few posed photos will be available to you (if you have Memory Maker, the photos will be part of your download package). At Garden Grill, the breakfast menu looks fantastic. Food is as always fresh tasting and you have your favorite Disney characters – Chip, Dale, and Farmer Mickey!
- Seasons of the Force officially opens on Monday, November 16th! Expect larger than average crowds during this time. I’ll be there LIVE to show some of the new experiences available. When I return home, I’ll be able to give you a big update on the details, but for up to the minute updates follow me on twitter: alittlewdwmagic.
- The holidays are in full swing around Disneyland – Jingle Cruise, Haunted Mansion Holiday, and its a small world holiday are all available. Holiday decor is up as well! The first Christmas parade is on Friday! Dawn and I will both be available over the weekend to provide live updates of the experience! Look for a video blog sometime this weekend (or at least a feeble attempt at one!) Again, follow me on twitter for up to the second updates of changes around Disneyland Park and California Adventure: alittlewdwmagic.
Disney Cruise Line
- With the dry dock complete on the Disney Dream, several new experiences are available to you! Vanellope’s Sweet Shop with absolutely adorable themed sweets from my favorite friend from Wreck It Ralph, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (reservations required), and new interactive areas for kids including Disney Infinity experiences! Of course, you’ll also have the addition of Star Wars experiences in the kids club areas. There is also an additional experience for adults with some renovations on the “adults only” areas! Surprises around every corner. You know when Disney takes 3 months away from a normal cruise itinerary, they are going to throw as much at a renovation as possible!
And that’s what’s new this Wednesday!!
Happy Wednesday! It’s halfway through another week! It’s time to talk about what’s new around Disney Destinations!
Walt Disney World:
- Osborne Festival of Dancing Lights in Hollywood Studios are doing “previews” each night. Official opening date is scheduled for the 6th of November, but they are ON. If you’re in Disney now, enjoy them while you can!
- Club Villain is available at Hollywood Studios on select evenings in 2016. Details from Disney…The mysterious Dr. Facilier welcomes Guests into Club Villain, his parlor of mystical mishaps, for a spellbinding evening. This special-ticket event, offered only on select evenings, will feature musical numbers with the help of a DJ, as well as appearances by the divas of evil – Maleficent, Queen of Hearts, Cruella De Vil, and the Evil Queen. Throughout the evening, you can enjoy fiendish concoctions from the Potions Bar and savor culinary delights from New Orleans while they mingle with the villains and dance the night away! Cost is $99 per guest
- Disney introduced new refillable mugs around Walt Disney World resorts. I LOVE them! They are starting to pop up around locations as the old ones are selling out.
- It’s a small world meets Frozen again this year at Contemporary Resort’s holiday display. Holiday decor should be going up in the first 2 weeks of November!
- Frozen Holiday Wish will return this year in Magic Kingdom as Elsa lights Cinderella’s Castle in a beautiful display. While I’m over Frozen Mania, it’s a gorgeous site!
- Ft. Wilderness Cabins have been undergoing a renovation (a little secret renovation since there’s little guest interruption since each cabin is an individual entity)
- Santa Goofy is available for meet and greet through the holiday season in Hollywood Studios!
- Disneyland Holiday experiences begin November 13th! We will be there LIVE to bring you the updates available to guests with valid park admission. This includes Haunted Mansion Holiday (which runs from Halloween through the Christmas season), its’ a small world holiday overlay and a Christmas parade among other special events! Check back with us over the next 2 weeks for the fun and exciting updates!
That’s it for this week. We’ll continue to bring you updates as they happen!!